Indigo Platinum Mastercard Review: Is It a Good Credit Card for Bad Credit?
The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is a credit card designed for those who are trying to build or rebuild their credit scores.
The card is simple to use and has three tiers of annual fees that range from $0 to $99, which means they tailor your card to your credit scores.
Celtic Bank is the financial institution who issues the credit card. It is based in Salt Lake City. While Celtic Bank is known best for its small business lending, it provides basic banking services as well as mortgages and credit cards.
Iт our review of the Indigo Platinum Mastercard, we’ll show you how the card works, talk about its rates and fees, provide an in-depth comparison of this card to other cards, then wrap up with a conclusion that addresses the card’s pros and cons.
We’ll also augment various sections of the article with our advice and insight into how you can reverse bad spending habits and build good credit.
Pros: No security deposit
Cons: Annual fee, penalty APR
Estimated Yearly Cash Rewards: None
|Sign-Up Bonus||Annual Fee||Regular APR|
|None||$75 first year, then $99||24.90%|
Most of the cards we review offer rewards, which usually come in the form of points you can use for travel or cash that you can redeem as a statement credit.
However, most banks will pull back those rewards for customers who have no or low credit scores.
Their thought is that someone without a credit score or a low score is someone who has a limited (or non-existent) track record of being a responsible borrower.
So, in most cases including the Indigo Platinum Mastercard, the bank issuing the card keeps the card’s benefits limited to what you can get through the Mastercard benefits package, which we’ll discuss later.
With that in mind, you’ll sign up for this card through the Indigo website. IF you received a letter in the mail with a prequalification, you can enter your prequalification code into the website.
Celtic Bank will review your application, assess your credit history and then determine if it will approve you. The card has one credit limit: $300.
Now, while the card is meant for people with bad credit and therefore inclusive of situations most banks would deny, there are specific things that will make Celtic deny your application:
- Delinquencies with any lenders in the past 60 days
- Past charge-offs with an Indigo Platinum Mastercard
- Previous Indigo Platinum Mastercard applications in the past 60 days
Once they approve you, they’ll send you an email notification and then send you an envelope in the mail that includes the card and the card’s Mastercard guide to benefits.
Your credit card will have two main functions: purchases and cash advances. The card does not allow balance transfers, which is moving a balance from one credit card to another.
In the card’s fine print, Celtic Bank says it will give you your cash advance limits based on your credit history. There’s a chance that Celtic won’t approve cash advances, so keep that in mind.
We typically discourage you from using cash advances except in situations where you have no other choice. As we’ll point out in the rates and fees section of this review, cash advances carry high percentage rates and accompanying fees.
Pro tip: You have to be at least 18 years old to apply (19 in Alabama).
Building your credit requires smart financial habits. Part of building smart financial habits is understanding how credit cards’ rates and fees work and how you can avoid paying them.
We’ll give you a quick list of this card’s rates and fees, then explain them afterward:
- Interest rate for purchases: 24.90%
- Cash advance interest rate: 29.90%
- Penalty APR: 29.90%
- Cash advance fee: $0 the first year, then $5 or 5%, whichever is greater
- Foreign transaction fee: 1%
- Late/returned payment fee: Up to $39
- Annual fee: Up to $99
The first interest rate in the list is what’s known as an “annual percentage rate,” or “APR.” If you don’t pay off your balance by your card’s due date, then Celtic Bank will apply a 24.90% interest rate to the remaining balance.
So, if you have a $250 balance and you only pay $50, then you’ll pay around $4.10 in interest. Over the course of a year, that’s around $50.
The goal with this credit card and any credit card, for that matter, is to never carry a balance so that you never have to pay interest.
This skill will be valuable when your credit increases and you get cards with bigger credit limits. Your discipline will save you from racking up big balances.
The second interest rate is what’s known as a penalty APR. Celtic Bank will change your APR from 24.90% to 29.90% the first time you make a late payment. That interest rate could stay on your account forever.
In this case, the penalty APR shock isn’t quite as high as with other cards that have lower APR’s. Many cards will give customers with excellent credit scores (700 and above) APR’s below 17.50%, so a jump to 29.90% is significant.
However, because the Indigo Platinum Mastercard has an APR of 24.90%, the jump is 5%. And, considering that your credit limit is $300, you’re really not going to have a balance so big that you’ll end up paying hundreds more in interest because of the penalty APR.
Either way, your mentality should be a long-term one. Use this card to perfect the habit of paying off your balance in full and always paying on time. Doing these two things will ensure you never have to deal with the card’s regular APR and its penalty APR.
The cash advance APR is the same as the penalty APR: 29.90%. “Cash advance” is what it’s called when you use your card as an ATM card to get cash.
You’ll pay no fee the first year you own the card but, after that, you’ll pay $5 for all withdrawals $100 and under and 5% for withdrawals of more than $100.
The final fee is the annual fee. When Celtic Bank processes your application, they’ll look over your credit history and give you one of three annual fees: $0, $59, or a two-phase annual fee of $75 the first year and $99 in subsequent years.
There’s no guarantee as to which annual fee you’ll get.
We like creating a comparison chart to give you an idea of the best and worse features of other cards. Often it helps to compare cards so you can find out which one is best suited for you:
|Indigo Platinum Mastercard||TOTAL Visa Credit Card||Deserve Classic Mastercard||Citi Secured Mastercard||Discover it Secured||Capital One Platinum Credit Card||Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card|
|Yearly rewards for $20K spending||None||None||None||None||$200||None||None|
|Minimum deposit required||None||$89||None||$200||$200||None||$300|
|Annual fee||Up to $99, depending on credit||$75 first year, $123 after||None||None||None||None||$25|
|Late fees||Up to $39||Up to $39||Up to $25||Up to $39||1st one free, up to $39 after||Up to $39||Up to $37|
The Indigo Platinum Mastercard has the advantage of not requiring you to make a deposit to open an account as you would with the Discover it Secured, the Citi Secured Mastercard and the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card.
Though the card doesn’t require a deposit, it does charge an annual fee just like the TOTAL Visa Credit Card. Also, the Indigo Platinum Mastercard has a penalty APR.
The chart above reveals that this card is the only one that charges an annual fee and has a penalty APR. These are two huge drawbacks if money is tight and you don’t want to pay just to use a credit card.
Furthermore, if you often pay late, not only will you have to pay up to $39 per incident, you’ll also get a 29.90% APR.
We believe this comparison chart shows that the Indigo Platinum Mastercard is one of the more expensive cards and, for that reason, we think a card like the Discover it Secured is an excellent fit if you can afford the deposit. Its rewards can earn you as much as $200 per year in rewards.
We believe our research indicates this card has some benefits but, in general, its weaknesses outweigh the benefits.
The card doesn’t require a security deposit, which is an excellent feature if you don’t have enough extra money to make a $200 or $300 deposit for the popular cards we listed in our chart.
However, we see two major flaws with this card. First, there’s a chance that you’ll have to pay an annual fee to use the card.
Second, the card’s penalty APR, though limited in its cost by your low credit limit, is still a drawback. Just one late payment will move your APR to 29.90%.
In our opinion, these two drawbacks are significant and should steer you toward other cards with fewer fees.
Now, in general, there are a few principles you’ll need to remember whichever card you choose.
First, set up automatic payments that pay at least the minimum payment your card requires. Most cards will allow you to set up these payments and choose the “at least the minimum payment” option. Second, do your best to keep your balance low. We suggest paying off your card every week.
These two habits are critical to building good credit scores because low balances and on-time payments make up 65% of your credit score.
If you want to learn more about how to increase your credit scores, read through our guide to credit scores and our advice for how to repair bad credit and then build good credit.
Both guides give you an in-depth, easy-to-read explanation of how companies calculate your credit scores and what you can do on a regular basis to boost your scores.